Bringing the Text to Life
Imagine this scene straight out of a sci-fi movie.
You’re startled from sleep by a THUD-THUD-THUD. Sounds like a pachyderm is pounding up the stairs to your bedroom. But then a mechanical fist crashes through the door, raining splinters and terror. Glowing red eyes glare at you from a metallic beast that’s chanting in an echo-chamber voice: “Kill the Humanoid!”
It’s an attack of the killer robot! What do you do?
Simple, really. You get up and push it over. Topple it. Trip it. Get it on its back. It’ll never be able to get up.
This is one of the huge, huge problems facing robotic engineers. You’ve built a better robot, but before the world comes pounding at your door, you’ve got to figure out how to get the robot on its feet again. Robots can stand up, walk, and even climb stairs. But if you think about it, getting yourself up from lying on the floor requires a complex combination of actions. If you’ve ever gone skiing and wiped out...